Sunday, August 22, 2010

(43-26) HOT & HUGE

I'm done mourning the departure of "Ugly Betty," I'm anxiously awaiting the return of "GLEE," and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm still holding out for a revival of "Boston Legal."  Ahh James Spader; I mean "Boston Legal."   I could even write the episode:  Alan Shore (James Spader) has to go up against  guest star attorney Robert Downey Jr.  I think I've mentioned this fantasy before; but seriously, how GOOD with this be.  No two men who are better equipped to deliver the quick witted, sharp tongued monologues that we have come to love from both of these fantastic actors; and I for one feel cheated that we never got the pleasure of seeing such an episode; but I digress.  In the absence of the 3 shows that I've just mentioned;  I've had to find some substitutes.
I think it's best to divide the shows that I've been watching into 2 different categories; Scripted TV and Reality TV.  Tonight I'm going to write about the scripted TV shows that I've been enjoying and sometime later this week, we'll take a "Reality Check;" cause hey, I've got nothing but time baby. 

Under the category of Scripted TV, there were 2 new shows this summer that I just couldn't get enough of; "Hot In Cleveland" and "Huge."
In case you haven't heard of "Hot In Cleveland," it's on TV Land and stars Valerie Bertinelli (Melanie), Jane Leeves (Joy), Wendie Malick (Victoria) and Betty White as (Elka).  This show has been a laugh out loud delight from the premier through the finale.  The premise is that 3 friends (Melanie, Joy and Victoria) were on a plane from LA to Paris and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Cleveland.  The ladies went to a local bar and found that they were "HOT in Cleveland," while in LA they were not and so they decided to stay a while.  Valerie's character Melanie is the "Nice girl."  It's like she's playing a grown up version of Barbara Cooper, the character that she played on "One Day At A Time;" but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Valerie's perfect and believable in these kinda roles and her  giddyness is refreshing.  Valerie decides to rent a house and the house just happens to come with its own caretaker, Elka.  Jane's character Joy delivers some great one liners and I just find her accent so enthralling that I probably wouldn't care what she was saying as long as SHE was saying it; but the writing really is THAT good, so she's just knocking them out of the ball park.  Wendi plays a soap actress who's show was recently cancelled after she spent 27 years on it.  I find it amusing that Wendie Malick always seems to play a washed up something or other; a has been model on "Just Shoot me," and now an unemployed soap actress, and yet Wendie Malick is not a name that quickly rolls of people's tongues.  Do you know what I mean?  I think that if you showed 10 people a picture of her and asked them what her real name was; most of them probably wouldn't know, and yet she's always playing the has been; and with the same affectation.  I think it's safe to say that Wendie Malick pretty much always plays the same character, it's just that the characters have different careers.  Nonetheless I will say that I think Wendie Malick has to be one of the BEST physical comediennes out there.  The physical comedy that she's done this season have been some of the very best moments of the show (especially the episode with Huey Lewis;)  so I say BRAVA Wendie Malick, thanks for the laughter!!  Have I saved the best for last; you betcha!!   What do I really need to say other than the role of Elka was one that Ms. White was born to play and I don't think that there's another actress out there who could bring to the role what Ms. White does; except maybe Estelle Getty.  So maybe Betty is channelling a bit of her old friend Getty while playing this role and if so, I say AMEN!   What is it about a wise cracking, foul mouthed octogenarian that is so hilarious?  Now of course this is not a cable show, so Betty isn't really foul mouthed but the innuendo is just delicious.  Betty White alone is fantastic but the 4 ladies togther are nothing short of slendiferous.
If you haven't seen "Hot In Cleveland" yet; you have no idea what you're missing, (well maybe now you do;) so run don't walk and catch up on this show today.  I'd be REALLY surprised if you didn't enjoy it. 

The other scripted show that I've been watching is "Huge" which is on ABC Family and stars Nikki Blonsky, who played Tracy in the movie version of "Hairspray;" and Hayley Hasselhoff (daughter The Hoff.)  "Huge" is a drama that takes place at a weight loss camp and my girls and I love to watch it together.  Since I am the Queen of HONESTY, I'll say that there are quite a few characters on this show that are NOT likable, Blonsky's character of Will, being one of them; but then on the other side of the scale, there are some of the most endearing characters that I've ever encountered.  Although "Huge" is scripted, watching it seems like watching a page out of real life and I think THAT is a true testament of a good show.    It's honest and believable and lovely.  Even though my daughters are only 6 and 8, "Huge" has provoked several  conversations about empathy and self image and I don't think it's ever too early to have those conversations.  The season finale of Huge is going to be on Monday night, and I know that my girl's and I will miss it when it's on hiatus and will gladly welcome it back.

I've always admitted that my taste in TV shows and movies is very simple.  I like to laugh and I like to watch things that make me feel good and that's exactly what both of these shows do for me.  You may have to search a little bit to find them, but I think that you'll be happy you did.  If you check them out, let me know what you think.
Till next time...


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Darn...I wanted to watch the Hot in Cleveland one and totally forgot about it...and I loved Ugly Betty too... except I almost cried in every episode cause I always felt sorry for or maybe it is cuz I was her growing up! LOL :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Joni Parker said...

I'm a fan of those ladies (Especially WM & BW)...but I never knew about that show...will have to go look for it. Thanks again for the info!! (you "ARE" the Queen!!)

Rachel said...

You know, I was expecting an entirely different post when I read the title...

Enjoy the Ride said...

Whoa Whoa Whoa whoa whoa whoa! Huge's season finale was Monday? NO WAY! I'm so sad, because I truly got sucked into it. Y'know, I see this show as a page out of my life too, as you would probably suspect. But I DO like Will... she's all bluff and bluster and she has a good heart, she just has a lot of ANGER she's hiding behind, and honestly, I can identify with that. I watched a few eps of Hot, but never remember when it's on so I haven't followed it like I have Huge. When is Huge coming back, do you know??